The land of Abba, Volvo, and Ikea is so much more than just unforgettable music sounds, great engineering, and affordable furniture. Its entrepreneurial spirit and innovation-oriented mindset have turned Sweden into one of the most advanced countries in the world, and Stockholm, its capital, has gained the reputation as Europe’s “unicorn factory” as it is home to more $1 billion-plus companies per capita than anywhere outside of Silicon Valley.
Seed activity for U.S. startups has declined for the fourth straight year, according to venture data provider CB Insights‘ and PwC’s MoneyTree report, as median deal sizes increased at every stage of venture capital. In 2018, seed activity as a percentage of all deals shrank from 31 percent to 25 percent — a decade low — while the share and size of late-stage deals swelled to record highs. Total annual global VC funding, for its part, shot up 21 percent to $207 billion as deal activity only increased by 10 percent to 14,247 transactions.
As Donald Hawkins started to uncover the gaps in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, he decided to do something about it. So the Kansas City entrepreneur rounded up other local entrepreneurs to form KC Collective, a group for entrepreneurs that aims to foster not just more, but stronger startups in the region.